Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a cautious note. Although they barely managed to stay afloat in the early hours, selling pressure subsequently intensified pushing the indices into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the Sensex today closed lower by 163 points (down 1%), the NSE-Nifty today closed lower by 53 points (1%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either as they lost 1% each. Losses were largely seen in banking, oil and gas and metal stocks.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.73 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Cipla and Cadila Healthcare found favour, Ranbaxy closed in the red. Ranbaxy also announced results for the second quarter ended September 2012. The company's topline grew by 31% YoY during the quarter led by growth in both its domestic and international business, and currency depreciation. In dollar terms growth was at 8% to US$ 480 m from US$ 442 m. Domestic business (includes consumer health and Sri-Lanka) grew 13% on back of improvement in the chronic segment. US segment grew by 62%, on the back of Lipitor and Caduet generics getting added in the US base business and launch of Actos generics. This launch was an authorized generics product and the company has captured 25% of the market share in 1.5 months of launch. Operating margins improved dramatically by 9.2% due to forex gain, improvement in the base business and Actos exclusivity. As per the management, base margins were stronger on back of Lipitor and Caduet getting added to the base business. Bottomline increased by 262% YoY during 3QCY12 due to forex gain in its derivative position in the current quarter against a loss in the 3QCY11.
Steel Authority of India (SAIL) announced results for the second quarter ended September 2012. The topline of the company declined by 1.5% YoY due to lower volumes. Operating profits declined by 15.8% YoY, while margins declined by 1.7% YoY. Increased fuel costs and other expenses plus higher wage expenses, from a new salary agreement applicable since January 1, 2012 also contributed to lower operating margins. At the bottomline level, profits for the quarter increased by 11.9% YoY due to forex gains and lower interest costs. The company reported a forex gain of Rs 418 m as compared to a loss of Rs 5,087 m in the corresponding quarter last year. Net profit margin improved by 0.6% YoY and stood at 5%. For the half year ended September 2012, the company reported a 1.5% YoY and 7.1% YoY decline in net sales and net profits respectively. The stock closed lower today.